She’s with her parents right now. That makes two days in a row. Once for a visit, once for a checkup. When she gets home she won’t let me out of her sight. I can never leave the room without her. I can’t run to go get a new diaper while she’s on the potty. I can’t cook supper without her clinging to my leg. The day of and after visits are the worse. I know she is theirs, but seeing them twice a week and then coming home to me hurts her. She’s so little. She’s so confused. She wonders if we will leave her too. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the cuddling and snuggling, but I know why she does it.
I ache for her.
When we got to the point in our GPS class where they told us about approved daycares, I stated that we would not be needing that information. The teacher of our class looked at me like I was an alien. “You are staying home”, she asked? “Of course”, I replied. There has never been a question of whether or not I would stay home and raise my kids. Why should my foster kids be any different…If anything, they need me more!
The way I see it, she has been picked up by a stranger, dropped off at a stranger’s house, slept in a stranger’s bed, fed strange food…how could I leave her 8 hours a day with another stranger? I try to imagine what it would be like if I were in her shoes. She hasn’t had a choice in any of these decisions. Now, before I go on…I want to make it clear that I’m not bashing anyone that drops their kids off at day care. Sometimes a family has to have two incomes. We have chosen to be a one income family. Yes, that means no hot dates out on the town, no new cars, a meager home, handmedowns and thrift store clothes and toys, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It also means: lots of love, lots of one on one mommy and daddy time, handmade toys and blankets, home cooked meals, and much, much more. I am the one that Little Bit spends her day with. That means I am the one who decides what she watches on T.V. (or if she watches it), what books she reads, takes her to the potty (consistency), makes sure she has a schedule (naps and meals). I feel like (especially since she’s a foster child) she needs the consistency and the structure. Not in a rigid, harsh way, but in a comforting, assuring way.
She knows what will happen from day to day. She knows we will be here for her no matter what. I think this is important for her.
If you are wondering about her socialization. I can honestly say there hasn’t been a day in our short 3 weeks that she has only had interaction with me. For example, yesterday Jeff and I were taking her for a walk and we met a couple with two kids and a dog. We started talking and they invited us into their parents home where Little Bit got to play with three more dogs, kids, and the whole family! We have playdates with our friend’s kids, not to mention worship services where there are 40 or so children that love all over her!
I know we are what is best for her because we teach her about God. I don’t think many day cares would provide her with that. One of the reasons we wanted to be foster parents is so we can influence many children and teach them about our Lord and Savior. We sing, pray, read, and learn about God everyday. I’m not saying this to brag at all, I’m just saying, this is our one chance to influence this child’s life, so that she might know God. Yes, I know she’s only a toddler, but it can only do her good.
Please take the time to read one of my favorite articles by Cindy Colley on the subject of being a keeper at home. The original post can be found here. She has lots of great things on her blog pertaining to marriage, family, homeschooling, etc.
This is Controversial. But Why?
Sometimes we just get in our own way. Sometimes we would just be so much better off as God’s women if we could just submit to His will, willingly and wholly, instead of trying to be His, in name, and yet play the world’s feministic game. We decided a few decades ago that we could do just as well chasing careers as we could chasing children. And so, by and large, our children got away from us. We’re losing them to the world in huge numbers. We can recklessly blame lots of things: inept youth ministers, school influences, weak church leaders, television–a litany of evils. But really, the buck stops at home. We can’t turn out Timothys if we have failed to be Loises and Eunices. If we fail to spend time with our kids we can’t put the Word in them in the Deuteronomy 6 way. And if they don’t get the Word in them according to Deuteronomy six, then why should we expect the result of Deuteronomy six teaching: that they should walk in the ways of the Lord all of the days of their lives. It really doesn’t take a village to raise a child. In fact, I am convinced that it’s our villages–the culture of materialism around us–that has most dangerously influenced our homes. It’s the village to which we sometimes leave our children that draws them from God.
That’s the ultimate price that we often pay for feminism. But there are other lesser prices, too. We wanted to find fulfillment outside the home forty years ago. So we left the challenging and very rewarding (and very Biblical) arena of raising our children, being keepers at home and being helpers to our husbands for desk jobs and corporate partnerships, teaching positions and medical careers. Some women traded the home-keeping business for less lucrative positions as underlings to more successful men and women. But many, if not most, did so, not to put food on the table, but, instead, to take the family out to eat more often. They were not keeping a roof over their heads, but were rather making sure there was lots of square footage under that roof along with tasteful decorations, multiple bathrooms and a well-stocked entertainment center. The casualties are sometimes the little people living in that very square footage we’ve worked so hard to provide.
But what are some of the other prices we pay (besides our inability to maximize the hours of faith-injection in our kids)? I’ve noticed several price tags in recent weeks. One is that the more we work outside the home, the more we are expected to work outside the home. Case in point: Several young ministers applying for jobs in churches recently have told me that the elders were unwilling or unable to pay the young families enough to adequately support them, so they indicated that the young preachers’ wives could “get a job to supply the rest of the needed income.” Something is wrong with that picture. Have we really come to the point in our churches in which elders believe it’s the minister’s wife’s responsibility to provide basic monetary support for the pulpits in our churches? That’s not the idea, for sure, In I Corinthians 9.
Secondly, there are those men in some of our churches today who are fearful of implementing programs which facilitate our older women teaching our girls how to be keepers at home. The reasons being given include a fear that women will get the idea that we think they should be staying at home and raising their own children. Or perhaps women will resent the study….It might portray housework as not really being an “equally shared responsibility” in the home. Or perhaps women might feel denigrated if we emphasize domestic skills like sewing and cooking, cleaning and ironing. Have we come to the point that Titus 2:3-5 is actually offensive to women in our pews today? Are some church leaders even afraid of the ire of feministic women in congregations? The phrase “keeper at home” is still there in Titus 2 and it still means “one who looks after the home; a domestic.” Is the Word so old-fashioned that we can prohibit its teachings in our churches?
Thirdly, I believe women in the workplace, many times, lose the precious commodity of a heart that hates sin. I have been amazed, recently, as I have learned of “Christian” women reading pornographic novels, being comfortable with vulgarity of language, dressing more and more immodestly, even undergoing abortions, and freezing multiple fetuses fertilized in test tubes–babies that they produced, but never planned to raise. I hear of more and more of my sisters who have become involved in adultery and have even left their children for these relationships. There’s a litany of sins of which we are becoming ever more accepting and tolerant. Now, do not get me wrong. I do not think women’s jobs are always the culprit, or even the catalyst. But I know that in many of the cases with which I am personally familiar, the associations at the office or school or hospital, combined with little time for Bible study and prayer make for an easy exit from the narrow path to the broad way that leads to destruction. When we are around the world and away from the little innocent hearts that constantly remind us of a higher calling, it just becomes easy for us to lose the heavenward focus and be sucked into the mentality that pivots on the here and now. The more we say “yes” to promotions and career climbing, the less time we have for prayer and family devotions. Furthermore, if we don’t have time to think about spiritual things, our consciences become less and less potent and we become more and more accepting of the world.
Did I say it’s always wrong for any woman to work outside the home? No. Did I say there are no situations in which women can make supplemental incomes and still “be there” for family? No. Do I think every woman can possibly have the luxury to be at home with her kids every day? No. Does it even matter what I say? No.
But God’s Word still calls us to be “keepers at home.” Whatever I am, I must be sure that I am that. But even aside from the clear statement in Titus 2, I think I could figure out that there’s often a big price for following a career path that takes me away from home and children. I’m going to keep pointing this out because 1) I’ve known women who figured this out in the nick of time and saved a lot of heartache, 2) I’ve known several women who figured this out when it was too late–eternally too late–for their children, 3) I’ve known several divorces which would most likely have not occurred had a woman chosen to stay home and raise her children and 4) I personally can attest to the fact that being a keeper at home is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding ventures of this life for God’s women. I want to share the wealth.
Finally, I know this is the most controversial thing I urge women to do. I will likely be unable to answer all of the mail and messages I will receive as a result of this post. They will not all be pleasant. I can hardly believe that we’ve come to the point in the body of God that the teaching we hate most, as women, is that we really should optimally stay home with our babies and raise them ourselves…for God. But we are there. May God help us to realize that the needs of babies have not changed in the last half-century. It is a deep and threatening desire to be like the culture around us that endangers our faithfulness and that of our children. May He help us to be transformed by a renewal of our minds (Rom. 12:2) as we turn our hearts toward home.
The best part of my day. ❤ My family!